Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bannock to pinch hit for mayor



By Brielle Schaeffer
Morris News Service - Alaska

Duane Bannock has stepped in again as the Kenai Peninsula Borough's pinch hitter.

Borough Mayor Dave Carey appointed him interim General Services Director at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting last week. Carey said Bannock will serve some eight weeks in the position as he searches to replace Bonita Miller, who he terminated last month after he decided "there was a need for change."

This is not the first time Bannock has stepped up to the plate for Carey. Carey appointed him as his acting chief of staff after Hugh Chumley resigned early last year. He served in that position for five months.

"I felt it was helpful to have someone who was already familiar with my staff in the borough as a whole," Carey said. "I need someone who will be able to handle a large amount of new information and handle it accurately."

Bannock started work as the borough's interim general services director Feb. 2.

The general services department essentially manages the borough's human resources, as well as computer and janitorial issues.

With Bannock stepping in at the beginning of the borough's budget process, he'll have a role in evaluating the borough's staffing needs for next year's budget.

That is something that has "to be reviewed so at budget time the assembly will have an incredibly clear view of exactly what is going on at the Kenai Peninsula Borough," he said.

Bannock said he would also be reviewing the organization of the general services department while serving in the interim position and helping Carey select a new director for it. While Bannock said he has no formal human resources training he has some other work-related experience.

"On the practical side I think I've hired probably close to 200 people in my brief career," he said.

A former Kenai City councilman, Bannock previously held the position as director of the state Division of Motor Vehicles in Anchorage.

He currently works for the borough as the Spruce Bark Beetle program manger and will resume that job after this interim position. He said there will be no increases to his borough pay while serving in this temporary capacity. As of last year, the annual salary for his position was $72,415.

Other assembly action:

* Enacted an ordinance appropriating an additional $291,000 to cover the costs in excess of budgeted amounts for the completion of the new Homer transfer facility design and construction.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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